James conway

Graphite and Colored Pencil

I have been drawing and painting since I was eleven years old, and I just turned 68. My father painted and drew as a hobby for most of his life. I was fascinated by his work and started drawing and painting when we moved to California in 1967. I was 15 years old.


My career as a serious artist began in 1970 as a freshman at San Jose State University. I enrolled with the intention of becoming a high school art teacher, but jobs were scarce for teachers at that time. I pursued a Bachelor’s in art with a painting concentration instead. I was disappointed with most of my drawing and painting teachers because they were not really interested in teaching skills to their students.


That disappointment changed when I took Life Drawing 55A with Maynard Dixon Stewart. Mr. Stewart studied at the Art Student’s League in New York with Frank Vincent DuMond – the teacher of some well-known students like Georgia O’Keefe and Norman Rockwell. Mr. Stewart became my mentor for the next 10 years of my life.


I took his classes as many times as I could. I cannot begin to explain the profound effect Mr. Stewart’s instruction had on my life. Forty years later, I still hear his words in my head while I am drawing or painting. I graduated with my B.A. in Art in 1975, and my M.A. in Art in 1980.